Trisha Shetty (Editor)

Kerala State Human Rights Commission

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Federal agency  India
Population  25,545,198 (2011)
Formed  11 December 1998 (Notification: S.R.O No. 1066/1998 Dt: 11-12-98)
Preceding agency  National Human Rights Commission of India
Legal personality  Governmental: Government agency
Size  135,194.5 km2 (52,198.9 sq mi)

The Kerala State Human Rights Commission was constituted on 11 December 1998 with the appointment of the first Chairperson Justice M.M. Pareed Pillay, a former Chief Justice Kerala High Court along with Dr. S. Balaraman and Shri. T.K. Wilson as supporting members by notification S.R.O No. 1066/1998 Dt: 11-12-98.



According to TPHRA, 1993 (with amendment act 2006), the commission is entitled to perform any of the following functions:

  • Autonomously investigate on a petition filed by a victim or any person on his/her behalf as a complaint of
    1. Violation of human rights and instigation or
    2. Negligence in the prevention of such violations by any public servant.
  • Get involved in any proceeding under allegation or violation of human right pending before a court with the approval of that court.
  • Inspect living conditions of the inmates in any jail or any other institution under the control of the State Government where persons are detained or lodged for purposes of treatment, reformation or protection.
  • Review the safeguards provided in the constitution or any other law for the time it is in force to ensure the protection of human rights
  • Review the factors that inhibit the enjoyment of human rights
  • Undertake and promote research and awareness programs in the field of human rights
  • Promote human right awareness through literacy campaigns, publications, seminars etc. for the protection and safeguards available under human rights practices.
  • Encourage involvement of Non-Government Organizations and individuals for expansion work in the field of human rights awareness.
  • Perform any other functions that may be considered necessary for the promotion of human rights.
  • It is clarified that though the Commission has the power to inquire in violation of human rights (or instigation thereof) by a public servant; Instances where the human rights are violated by any individual citizen then the Commission can intervene, if there is failure or negligence on the part of a public servant to prevent any such violation.

    Judicial Powers

  • While enquiring into the complaint, the Commission is vested with all the powers of a civil court in the matter of trial of a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure 1908. In particular, it has power to -
    1. Summon and enforce the attendance of witnesses and examine them on oath;
    2. Order discovery and production of any document;
    3. Receive evidence on affidavits;
    4. Demand any public record from any court or office; and
    5. Issue Commission for examination of witnesses or documents.
  • The Commission has its own investigating staff headed by police officer of the rank of Inspector General for investigating into complaints of human rights violation. It is also open to the Commission to utilize the office of any officer or investigating agency of a Central Government or State Government. It can also associate NGOs in their investigation work.
  • The Commission while enquiring into the complaints of violation of human rights may call for information or report from the Central Government or State Government or any other authority or organization subordinate to them within the time specified. If the information or report is not received within the specified time, the Commission may proceed to enquire into complaint on its own. If on the receipt of information or report the Commission is satisfied that no further enquiry is required or that the required action has been initiated or taken by the concerned government or authority it may not proceed with the complaint.
  • Where the enquiry discloses commission of violation of human rights or failure or negligence in the prevention of violation of human rights by a public servant, it may recommend to the concerned government or authority, initiation of proceeding or prosecution or such other action as the Commission may deem fit against the concerned person or persons.
  • The Commission may also approach the Supreme Court or the High Court for such direction, orders or writs as may be deemed necessary. The Commission may also recommend to the concerned government or authority grant of relief to the victim or members of his family as the Commission may consider necessary.
  • The concerned government or authority, as the case may be, has to intimate the action taken on the report or on recommendation of the Commission within a period of one month.
  • Jurisdiction of the Commission ordinarily extends to violation of human rights or negligence in the prevention of violation of human rights in the State. However, even where such violation or negligence/ failure to prevent such violation takes place outside the State, in appropriate cases the Commission may either entertain the complaint or initiate action on its own initiative (suo motu) provided the National Human Rights Commission or the State Human Rights Commission of the concerned State (where violation or negligence/ failure to prevent the violation had taken place) has not initiated any proceeding with respect to such violation or negligence/ failure to prevent it.
  • References

    Kerala State Human Rights Commission Wikipedia

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